Monday, May 12, 2008

Chapter 7: The Church Lady

Chapter 7
The Church Lady

The next morning was Sunday. Berk and Fannie had agreed on the ride home from the mall that Fannie should take the flowers to church. Surely they would find a person with a pure heart who needed help in church.

Fannie’s family and Berk’s family both attended the same church about a mile from their homes. Fannie loaded in the car with her Mom Nikki and Dad Darren and little sister Stella. She wore her best Sunday dress that normally was a brilliant shade of blue with sparkles on the skirt. Today its gray dullness just reminded her how badly she needed to find 2 more people who she could help with her flowers.

Berk arrived at church with his Dad Stephen, his mom Rachel, and his little sister Lauren. They sat behind Fannie’s family who were already seated on the 5th pew back on the right hand side. Lauren and Stella began playing peek a boo over the back of the pew. They were best pals just like Fannie and Berk.

Fannie brought her purse to church, the one with the elastic pocket. It didn’t match her dress very well but this was no time to worry about fashion. This was a crisis.

All through sacrament meeting and Primary Fannie and Berk exchanged anxious looks watching for someone to see the flowers true colors. By the end of church they were amazed that no one there had noticed. They met after Primary and walked to the Relief Society Room to get their mothers who were chatting like every Sunday with the other ladies.

Berk was just as disappointed as Fannie but he tried not to let her see. He tried to tell her they would find someone at school tomorrow or maybe their parents would even take them on a walk tonight and they would find someone then. Still he wondered silently, “if you can’t find someone pure in heart and needed help at church then were would they be?”

Nikki and Rachel were talking to another lady when Berk and Fannie arrived. Soon Darren and Stephen arrived holding Stella and Lauren. The moms finished up the conversation agreeing to take care of whatever it was they were discussing and the two families headed home.

On the way home Nikki asked Fannie and Lauren if they wanted to go on an outing with Aunt Rachel, and their cousins. Fannie was not going to pass up any opportunity to be around people. She knew Berk would be up for it too.

They ate a quick dinner at home and then met up with Aunt Rachel and Berk and Lauren. They all piled in Aunt Rachel’s van and started to drive. As they drove, Nikki told the kids that they were going to go visit a lady who was very old. Her name was Mary Ann Deschamps. They could call her Gramma Mary. She was a member of their church but was unable to attend church because she had a something called “Alzheimer’s.” Nikki explained that this made her forget lots of things including the names of people she knew very well and also the names for simple things like shoe or button.

Nikki told the kids that Gramma Mary lived in a rest home. She was very sad and lonely and didn’t remember very much but that she LOVED little children. Her own grandchildren were all grown ups and lived far away so not many people came to visit her now. Nikki and Rachel had agreed at church to visit her with their children as a favor to the Relief Society President.

They arrived at Gramma Mary’s room to find it empty. They asked the nurses where she was and were directed to the recreation room. The recreation room had a TV blaring and several old people sitting in wheelchairs and on couches watching it. As soon as they walked in everyone’s attention turned to them. Nikki and Rachel found Gramma Mary and introduced themselves. Gramma Mary and the others around her barely paid attention to the adults. All eyes were on Lauren doing a crazy dance to the music program coming from the TV. Stella joined her and the old people started smiling and clapping.

As the little girls twirled and tiptoed their made up dance Fannie felt a tug on her purse. She turned to see Gramma Mary staring not at the girls but at her flowers. Unfortunately her face did not show surprise or awe. She could not see the colors, just the gray. Gramma Mary motioned with her finger for Fannie to come closer so she would whisper to her. Fannie obliged.

“Where did you get those flowers?” she asked Fannie.

“From a cave near my house,” Fannie replied.

“What do you call the color of this one?” Gramma Mary asked pointing to the Magmentum one.

Fannie was unsure how to answer. It didn’t seem like she was startled or in awe of the color like others who saw the true colors of the flowers but seemed to see the one she indicated as a different color than the others. Fannie decided to tell the truth. Gramma Mary probably wouldn’t remember what she said anyway.

“I call it Magmentum,” Fannie said truthfully.

Gramma Mary’s eyebrows raised a bit. “I have seen that color many times before,” she said. Fannie thought Gramma Mary must be crazier than she had anticipated but she decided to play along with her delusion.

“What do you call it and where have you seen it?” Fannie asked.

“I called it LaRose,” Gramma Mary told her. “I like that name a lot and I also like this color a lot. I see it almost every night in my dreams. It is one of the colors of the flowers that surround my mansion in Heaven. There are lots of colors there you don’t see here on Earth.”

Fannie was shocked. She really did see the color and it was different than any other color on earth to her.

“You really do see the color don’t you?” she marveled to Gramma Mary. “It is different than any other color on Earth. I can’t believe you have dreamt it before! And in Heaven at that! That is awesome!”

A silent tear burst out of Gramma Mary’s eye and flowed down her cheek. “You are the first one to ever believe me,” she said. “Thank you for that. Thank you for helping me know my dreams are not crazy and that someday I may be able to stay there in that mansion and not have to come back here anymore. Thank you.”

Fannie knew she had found her third person and she knew she needed to make sure her mother would bring her back to visit Gramma Mary every Sunday. Even if she didn’t remember Fannie, Fannie would never forget her.